More than €6 million has been made available to European Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) some of which can be accessed for environmental projects within the Falkland Islands, according to a report from the Penguin News last edition.
The European Commission has announced that in order to address the need for facilitated access to funding in the OCTs, it is allocating new resources for concrete projects through a five year program; BEST 2.0 (Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in European Outermost Regions and Overseas Countries and Territories).
The European Commission’s Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development (EuropeAid) has two calls for proposals organized in the coming two years, with a total budget of over €6 million for this initiative.
BEST 2.0 recognizes a need for support of projects on the ground whilst a long term financial mechanism is created from the existing BEST III initiative, which began last year. The aim of the BEST III project is to support and maintain biodiversity and sustainable use of ecosystem services, including looking at ecosystem-based approaches to climate change adaption and mitigation methods. This is taking place simultaneously across all European OCTs.
The South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute (SAERI) is the coordinator for the South Atlantic Hub, which includes Ascension Island, St Helena and Tristan da Cunha, the Falkland Islands and South Georgia and South Sandwich Isles.
Five of the existing BEST III knowledge hubs will help assure the calls are adapted to the varying conditions and situations encountered in OCTs and will provide support to local organizations for submission of proposals.
The objective of BEST 2.0 is to empower local actors, authorities and civil society organizations in OCTs. Within the Falkland Islands this will involve organizations who are committed to local development, maintaining biodiversity and the sustainable use of ecosystem services.
This will particularly apply to the key biodiversity areas identified through the participative Ecosystem profiles process led by the BEST knowledge hub for the region. Eligible beneficiaries will be local authorities and services, civil society organizations and stakeholders working within the Falkland Islands.
The first call for proposals will take place in June this year.
Visit the SAERI website www. south-atlantic-research.org for further information